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打擂台 (2010)

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 01/23/2014

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/10/2010

A callback to the classic Shaw Brothers kung fu films that's infused with slick filming techniques and a heaping dose of comedy, the new release Gallants is about as heavy as a down-filled pillow. If you're looking for a film with a deep story or in-depth displays of characterization, you'd better look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for just kicking back, popping open a couple of cold ones, and having a good time, then you're going to find a lot to like here.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 09/11/2010
Summary: gate of law...

leung (wong yau-nam) is one of life's losers and has been sent to help mang (mc jin), turf some oldies out of the property which they have a long term, low cost lease agreement for. leung's heart isn't in the job; especially as he is terrified of mang, who he used to bully as a child, now a martial artist of some note. instead, leung finds himself bonding with dragon (chen kuan-tai) and tiger (bruce leung); the two previously mentioned old men who have been running the 'gate of law' martial arts school as a tea shop, ever since their master, law (teddy robin kwan) fell into a coma. thirty years ago.

also, being enamoured with kwai (jie xiao-chen); a young lady who is currently visiting the residents of the gate of law, all old friends of her mother - leung decides to forget about his job and stay at the tea house. meanwhile, the wrangle for the lease is turning from a bureaucratic one, in to a martial arts confrontation...

another film from andy lau's focus films production company, which keeps up the high quality set by films such as 'crazy stone', 'the shoe fairy' and 'my mother is a belly dancer'. and like these offerings, it has a similar small, comfortable, intimate feeling to it; rejecting glitz and glamour, embracing the tale that is being told and telling it with a real warmth.

'gallants' embodies this ethos. the main thread of the narrative is nothing new, but it is executed with the inclusion of great characterisation, great performances, humour, pathos and fun. wong yau-nam, mc jin and jie xiao-chen all play prominent roles and do good jobs, however, it is teddy robin kwan, chen kuan-tai, bruce leung and lo meng who are the highlights.

seeing some old timers getting the chance to shine is great and the film celebrates them to the fullest; and with yuen tak being responsible for the action, the quality (even if there is a touch of under-cranking) is good and very enjoyable. there's also a couple of great animated sequences thrown in here and there; all good.

basically, a bit of a treat and very enjoyable indeed.